By Dr. E. Faye Williams
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – I would find it difficult to believe my readers haven’t received admonitions about timeliness during their lives. We’ve all heard “Early to bed early to rise…?” Accordingly, the first requirement of successful employment is to “show up to work on time.” My military friends have even explained to me that, “If you are just on time, you’re late!”
As I write this, a lack of time looms large in front of us all. We are less than 100 days from midterm elections and we don’t have time to waste! We must consider the ramifications of the coming election before it’s too late. It’s been said more times than necessary, but I will say it once more, “The outcomes of the next election will determine the future of our personal rights and exactly how ‘real’ our “democracy” is.
We don’t have the luxury of equivocation. We cannot spend time debating the duplicities of our adversaries or the severity of potential outcomes. The threats we face have been presented dramatically and we must respond accordingly. We cannot view our circumstance myopically or selfishly. The threat to any freedom is an ultimate threat to all freedoms.
The autonomy of women to make independent health and reproductive decisions is under increasing risk. Against the majority opinion of Americans, the Supreme Court’s rejection of Roe threw the issue of reproductive rights back to individual states, of which many immediately established draconian, absolute restrictions against medically supervised abortions. Under the premise of recognizing personal rights traditionally enumerated in the Constitution, the validity of Roe was rejected.
Although Justice Alito, who wrote the majority decision, expressed that it had limited applicability to Roe, Clarence Thomas opened the door to reexamining SCOTUS decisions that related to unenumerated rights. Decisions which he (Thomas) identified as deserving additional review are contraception, marriage equality, and LGBTQ rights. That thought process actually opens other personal rights which are not “deeply rooted in history” to judicial review.
Extremist Republicans, who constitute the majority or most outspoken of their party, have telegraphed and sometimes bull-horned their desired outcomes for the future of the nation. The “deeply rooted in history” criterion affords subjective judgments limited only by SCOTUS’ willingness to entertain challenges to established law. Their targets could be any unenumerated right. Those additionally include: voting rights (both women and Blacks); school integration; interracial marriage; and any right adjudicated after an undetermined date designated as “post-deeply rooted history.” I make no claims of this happening, but we potentially stand at the mercy of radical reactionaries.
More frequently than ever, I hear television commentators suggest that the 2022 mid-terms have the potential to be the last fair elections of our nation. Republican efforts to erode public confidence in election integrity support that assessment. I do not question the autocratic intent of the ‘new Republican party,’ I reject and resist it. With little subtlety, they have shown their willingness to control our society with a dystopian authority of law or the suggestion of violence.
Our imperative is to be proactive. Waiting to react is too great a risk. Consequently, our only viable and legal option is to vote – with a purpose. We must recognize and resist real threats to our existence and those of our progeny. We can no longer sacrifice the good for the perfect, but must select and support candidates who are not dedicated to authoritarian principles. We must act in concert with like-minded individuals and groups and use that strength to spread the message of resistance. We must start now – it’s never too early!
(Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. is a minister, a UN Peace Ambassador, President of the Dick Gregory Society, author of “Dick Gregory: Wake Up and Stay Woke,” and Host of “Wake Up and Stay Woke” on WPFW-FM-89.3 radio, as well as a columnist for Trice-Edney Wire Service.)